Proving the old adage that those who cough up 10 bucks to see history are doomed to repeat it, we now get a sequel of sorts to Zack Snyder’s razzle-dazzle Spartan bloodfest, 300. I wasn’t a huge fan of the original. It felt like a Joe Weider bodybuilding magazine turned into an ultraviolent videogame. But the film’s visual artistry was undeniable. In 300: Rise of an Empire, director Noam Murro uses 3-D to up the wow factor even further. There’s so much crimson gore flying off the screen you feel as if you should be wearing a tarp like the folks in the front row of a Gallagher show. Xerxes, the pierced and waxy-smooth Persian king played by Rodrigo Santoro, is out to avenge the death of his father at the hands of strapping Athenian he-man Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton). Egged on by his sultry adviser Artemisia (Eva Green), Xerxes and his men square off against the outnumbered Greek forces — this time on the high seas. The Aegean setting is a nice excuse to stage clever naval gambits that turn into slo-mo orgies of impaling and limb-hacking. But really, the film belongs to Green — maybe the only actress ever to “graduate” from being a Bertolucci muse to a bloodthirsty action-flick dominatrix. With her raven hair, smoky voice, and leather fetish wear, she gooses the repetitive carnage into something deliciously sinister. In the movie’s best scene, she and her enemy Themistokles turn a discussion of surrender into a rough-sex brawl. Henry Kissinger she’s not. B
EMERALD IN THE ROUGH Eva Green is brilliant in the surprisingly entertaining 300: Rise of an Empire (Warner Bros)
Genre: Action/Adventure; Starring: Eva Green, Rodrigo Santoro; Director: Noam Murro; Release Date Wide: 03/07/2014; Status: In Season; Runtime (in minutes): 103; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Warner Bros.
Posted March 20 2014 — 12:00 AM EDT
- TV legend Norman Lear gives 6 strong opinions about American life
- 'Downton Abbey' cast on saying goodbye: 'We didn't want to leave'
- Zayn Malik congratulates One Direction on their ’sick’ new single
- Dr. Dre's new album, 'Compton,' coming Aug. 7
- 'Ghostbusters' cast surprises patients at Boston children's hospital
- Chris Pratt, James Gunn mark 'Guardians of the Galaxy's one-year anniversary
- Kelly Clarkson crushes cover of Miley Cyrus' ‘Wrecking Ball’
- 'The Walking Dead' Season 6: 12 EW exclusive photos
- 10 must-have items from the 'Mad Men' auction: Exclusive
- Stars go back to work! 'Scandal,' 'Arrow,' 'The Good Wife,' more return to set
- Charlie Hunnam and Excalibur glisten in 'King Arthur' first look photos
- Here are the 2015 games we're looking forward to most
- FKA Twigs, Adrian Grenier, Bethenny Frankel and More!